Yesterday was Halloween. And today is not. Yesterday, I went to work dressed as the Fifth Doctor, with my husband, who works at the same company, as the Fourth Doctor. These costumes all started over a year ago, when I decided to make a Fourth Doctor scarf for him, in secret. I would wait for him to go to sleep, then spend about a half an hour or an hour knitting. I can knit about eight rows per hour, so this was taking forever, but I was hoping a year’s time would be enough so that he could be the Fourth Doctor on Halloween. Then, you’d know if you read the “About” page here, that about 2 or 3 months ago, I got hooked on Doctor Who, and soon after that I decided I wanted to make my own costume. The last couple of months has been a flurry of watching Doctor Who, reading everything I can about it (especially on Tardis Data Core), knitting (it went much faster now that I didn’t have to knit in secret), and creating the Fifth Doctor costume. I’ve even written my own fanfic short story and am working on notes for a longer work, even though I am in no way a writer. And hey, I have a blog which I post to almost every day!
I had a huge amount of fun creating the two costumes, and hopefully I will post a little article on how I created my Fifth Doctor costume, because I learned so much from it. It was my first attempt at cosplay and it came out rather well. A couple of friends helped me with some bits, but the majority of the ideas and work was mine. I loved coming home from work, sitting in front of the TV, and starting to work on whatever the next piece was.
Now, I haven’t really talked about myself in this blog other than how much I love Doctor Who, so let me say a few things. While I like reading, watching some TV, and doing crafts like knitting, painting miniatures, and cross stitch, I have been first and foremost a gamer, both computer and tabletop. I play in D&D and Iron Kingdom role-playing groups. I ran my own 5-year campaign which my players hoped I would turn into novel. And on normal days, during my free time, I play computer games. Guild Wars 2 was my staple since it came out – I have multiple max-level characters – but before that, I had played Asheron’s Call for 13 years. I also play Civilization and other strategy games, action RPGs like Diablo and Sacred, simulation games and historical games, as well as handheld games like Pokemon, Professor Layton, Etrian Odyssey, Harvest Moon, etc. I’ve been playing video and computer games since my parents bought an Atari 2600 when it first came out.
If you compare this last paragraph with the previous paragraph, you might see the issue I am currently having. Doctor Who came into my life and turned it upside down. I’m not playing computer games. Since I started watching the show, I’ve logged into Guild Wars 2 approximately four times. I purchased Pokemon X and have played it for about 10 hours; the last time I turned it on was two weeks ago. I had some time to myself last week and thought maybe I should boot up Civilization V, but I thought, “How boring. I could be doing something – anything – else.”
And this is why I am feeling like a nut loaf.
Before Doctor Who, most of my time was spent gaming in one form or another. I like doing other things, but I usually wouldn’t because my evenings and weekends would be filled with catching up in this game, then doing stuff in that game, then hanging out in this other game, etc. Sometimes I would sit and knit while waiting for something in Guild Wars 2, and this is significant because the game was my primary action, while the knitting was the secondary action. Everything revolved around the games.
Now, after Doctor Who, my brain is completely turned upside-down. With Halloween over and no more work to do be on the Fifth and Fourth Doctor costumes, I don’t know what to do. I want to start on next year’s costumes (Eleven and Amy Pond, or maybe Clara). I want to write. I want to watch more Doctor Who, maybe read some of the novels. And there are a number of things not related to Doctor Who that I’d like to do. My friend and I are planning a trip to Britain next summer, and I want to work on that. I’d like to take a stab at learning how to score music for concert band. Heck, I could practice my French horn. Oh, and the house needs a good cleaning. There’s a whole lot of things to do, and playing games seems so unimportant, and honestly, uninteresting.
I actually do not know how to deal with this. Maybe in a week or a month or so, it’ll all go away and I’ll settle back into the same old routine of playing games in the evenings, but for now, I feel almost repulsed by them, and a little disturbed at the feeling – after all, games have been a big part of my life. Why am I suddenly so averse to them?
I almost feel like the reason that Doctor Who sparked this is that it’s encouraging me to go out and explore on my own. I can’t explore other worlds and other times and meet new sentient species, but I can do so through the show. I can express my creativity and imagination through analytical writing in this blog, cosplay and writing fanfics, as well as through other channels not related to the show. I guess that I feel that I don’t want to simply consume someone else’s content; I want to at least extend it through me, or move beyond it. And it’s not something you can do with most games (Minecraft is one of the few exceptions).
I’m not sure where to go from here, what I want to explore or create. Maybe this month, since it’s NaNoWriMo, I’ll concentrate on this new story idea I have in mind. But mostly, I need to figure out what I want to do without losing this attitude. It would be nice to return to some gaming, but I want to continue expanding myself beyond my current borders.